A relationship is like a fire. When everything is going great, usually at the start of a relationship, it’s always ablaze. But there are times when you both simmer down to normal and may seem like you’re on a plateau phase.
No relationship is perfect, and keeping the spark alive can be challenging. It’s natural for things to cool off after a while, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.
If you’re feeling lost in your relationship or feel like you and your partner have lost the spark, don’t worry — we’re here to help.
Whether you’re married or dating, here are exciting ways to keep the passion burning strong:
Couples Relationship Coach, Synergy Coaching
Most couples can have “true love.” But many won’t because they will put their relationship on the back burner. They will allow everything else to rank higher.
If you want a satisfying, intimate relationship, you need to invest some time and energy into the relationship. Otherwise, you will lose the connection that drew you together in the first place. Eventually, you will have a crisis that will threaten the relationship.
To avoid the dullness of Roommate Syndrome, there are smart steps you can take. These will keep the spark alive even when you are distracted by the other parts of your life.
These are the secrets to keeping the spark alive:
Date your spouse
Spend some time communicating and connecting with your spouse every day. Set aside 10 minutes a day to talk and a couple of hours a week to share an experience. During that time, seek to understand what their life is like.
Share new experiences together
When you learn a new skill, travel, or go to a new restaurant together, you build a connection by creating new memories. They are opportunities to have fun and be vulnerable with one another.
Have new individual experiences
New experiences help you to grow as a person. Afterward, share those experiences with your partner. This will energize you and bring more excitement back to the relationship.
Talk about sex and pleasure
Most couples hardly ever talk openly about sex. They expect that part of their life to work seamlessly. Yet, most couples have some trouble in this area. When you treat a problem with intimacy the same way that you treat any other problem, you will find solutions that work for both of you. And talking explicitly can ignite its own sparks.
Remind each other about how you fell in love with each other
Reminisce about falling in love. Talk about the details of that special time. Remind each other of the other special and amazing experiences that you have shared. It helps you feel connected with the exciting parts of the relationship, even when you are slogging through day-to-day life.
“Laugh” together — it can deepen your connection
Can you still make your partner laugh? Humor is a powerful connector. If you want to have epic love, find things that make your partner laugh, and it will deepen your connection.
Show appreciation — it makes your partner feel seen
In a long-term marriage, both partners do a lot of things that the other person benefits from. Make sure to notice and acknowledge the things that your partner does. It makes them feel seen in the relationship. And it builds goodwill and compassion in both of you.
Say, “I’m sorry”
Be accountable for the ways that you hurt one another. You will let your partner down. When you take responsibility for how you hurt them by acknowledging their pain and making changes to fix the problem, it clears out the things that stifle or kill the spark of love.
A good apology is very attractive.
Fix your relationship problems
One of the main reasons that relationships fall apart is that the couple does not fix their relationship problems. These might be communication problems, harsh fighting, or unresolved problems. Relationship injuries build a wall between you.
If you want to have that “in love” feeling, learn new relationship skills and practice new relationship habits to clear away the difficulties.
Prioritize your partner
Show your partner that they are your priority. Put down your phone, communicate while at work, ask their opinion, and send the kids to play so you can talk. These make your partner feel special. When you put them first, it adds a deeper level of security to the relationship.
All couples experience the ebb and flow of being in sync. You can hedge your bets and feel connected more consistently when you work on the relationship.
The payoff will be a close, connected, and intimate relationship. Don’t let yourselves drift into complacency. Keep your love alive and exciting.
Colleen Wenner-Foy, MA. LCMHC-S, LPC, MCAP
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor | Founder and Clinical Director, New Heights Counseling and Consulting LLC
Create new experiences together
Relationships grow stale when habits, routines, and expectations become the norm.
When you fall into our regular patterns, you miss opportunities to experience life together like never before. You forget how much fun it is to do things differently, to break free from your old ways, and to enjoy each other in new and exciting ways.
New experiences bring the two of you closer together and help you see yourselves as more than just partners. They allow you to be playful, silly, spontaneous, and creative. And they make you feel alive; get out of your comfort zones and try something new together!
Stay present whenever you’re together
Closing the space of distraction between you and your partner can be challenging. But to keep the spark alive in a relationship, you must stay focused on one another.
It’s easy to lose yourself in work, hobbies, or even social media. But when you’re with your partner, you can focus solely on them. To notice their presence, smile, laugh, and touch.
Stop thinking about what else needs to happen, and enjoy being together. This will help you remember that you’re connected to someone who loves you deeply.
Make time for romance
Romance is not an obligation. It’s something you can do for your partner every day. Whether you take a walk around the block, dance at a local club, or watch a romantic movie together, these simple acts show your love and affection.
The key is to choose activities that don’t require too much effort. A quick kiss or hug while watching TV works well. Or you could surprise your partner by cooking dinner together. You’ll both appreciate the extra effort.
Be open to change
Change is inevitable. As we age, our bodies and minds evolve. We may find ourselves growing apart physically or emotionally. Or maybe you’ve been married for years, and now you realize you no longer share the same interests or values as your spouse.
Whatever changes occur, it’s essential to remain flexible and adaptable.
Don’t let your past dictate your future. Instead, embrace the changes that come along and learn to accept them gracefully. Your relationship will benefit from this flexibility.
Respect each others’ differences
The best relationships are based on mutual respect. That means accepting and appreciating all aspects of your partner. No matter what they look like, where they came from, or what they believe in, your partner deserves to be treated with dignity and kindness.
Being respectful also means listening without judgment. Listening allows you to understand your partner better.
Keep your communication lines open
Communication is essential to any relationship. Openness builds trust and strengthens bonds. You show how much you care about them by sharing thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
Related: Trust Building Exercises for Couples
When you communicate openly, you allow your partner to express themselves too. This connection becomes stronger between the two of you.
Anticipate each other’s needs
When you anticipate your partner’s needs, you tell them you care. Knowing that you’re making your partner happy makes you feel positive about your relationship. And when you know that you’re doing right by your partner, you feel secure and confident.
So take the time to ask questions. Ask what your partner wants and needs. Listen carefully and respond appropriately. Then give your partner the gift of anticipating their needs.
Relationship Expert | Teacher | Writer | Founder, Feel Fully You
Spend time together and communicate
One of the best ways to keep the spark alive in a relationship is to spend time together and communicate. I always emphasize that communication is key to building a healthy relationship.
In our daily life, there are the kids, the job, and the stress of money. All these outside stresses start taking over our life. All these things, of course, are very important, but we don’t make time for each other and don’t communicate, and the spark disappears.
Discuss your plans, your desires, and your relationships as a whole
Sometimes partners don’t tell each other very simple things. So there’s a kind of low-level resentment that builds up. For example, you don’t like the table manners of your partner, and you start getting annoyed about it, but you don’t really say anything about it.
Sometimes we behave as if we are keeping score. It’s like we have accounting law booklets, and we write down the things that our partner didn’t do for us. And we didn’t tell the partner about it!
All that stuff builds up unless you can clear some of that either with the coach or with yourself, or with your partner. It builds up, and it’s somewhere in the back of your mind: “My partner never does anything for me.”
That is why it is so important to communicate and discuss all things. You need to discuss not only some points connected to your daily routine but also more global things.
Try to discuss your plans, your desires, and your relationships as a whole:
- “What is it that you love about our relationship?”
- “What do you desire for us?”
- “Where do you see us in five years?”
- “What are the things that frighten you?
- “What are the things that excite you about looking into the future?”
It will help you to understand your partner better and to save this spark between you. And one more important thing is gratitude. Often we think we have to get somewhere — to get a certain amount of followers or salary or income and we forget that we are on our main journey to have a wonderful life, to have a wonderful time together.
Why not be grateful for what we have and be grateful to your partner? Tell them about it.
Keep your sex life healthy
Finally, of course, sex is an important part of healthy relationships.
Sex is healthy, and by doing the above exercises in connection, it is much easier to touch each other in a way that creates turn-on. This, in turn, will create a desire for sex.
And remember, sex doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse but could comprise of touch, kissing, and stimulation only. Know that you can always ask for a pause if things are escalating too fast or even say: “I think I am done for today. Do you mind if we continue this another day? I feel we have peaked.”
If we speak about sex life, honest conversations are always valuable, too.
Often share your desires openly with your partner and ask them about their desires:
- “What do you need at this moment?”
- “Is it okay for me to place my hand on your breast or your neck?”
- “Do you like it, or do we need to change something?”
And remember that there are various ways today to make your sex life more bright and save your spark in the bedroom. Just look at all these technologies and toys that surround us and let your fantasy work; it will bring much more intimacy to your relationship.
Certified Matchmaker | CEO, Select Date Society
Keep laughing together
When you learn how to laugh easily together, it makes it easy to keep your connection strong.
Look for humor in everyday life and share it with your partner. Send each other funny videos or memes. You may also seek out opportunities to laugh together by attending comedy clubs or going to see a funny movie.
Sharing “inside jokes” when you are surrounded by other people is also a great way to create chemistry.
Related: The Healing Power of Laughter
Make intimacy a priority
As your priorities with careers, children, and household responsibilities pile up, it can be hard to carve out time for intimacy. By the end of the day, you may both be so exhausted that sex is the last thing on your mind! You have to make time for intimacy in your relationship.
As unsexy as it sounds, this may mean scheduling it on your calendar. If you both work from home, schedule yourselves out for “lunch” a couple of times a week and spend your lunch break in the bedroom!
Practice the 2-2-2 rule
Have a date night every two weeks, go on a weekend getaway every two months, and spend a one-week vacation (just the two of you) every two years.
When you keep dating each other, you will constantly be fanning the flame to keep the spark alive.
This can be challenging when you have young children or a demanding career, but it is an area of your life you cannot compromise if you want to maintain a healthy relationship. Make this practice a rule, and don’t waiver on it!
Stop comparing your relationship to others
Each relationship is unique, with its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s been said that comparison is the root of all unhappiness, and that applies to your romantic relationship.
My husband and I were once out with a group of friends when one of the couples, who has been married for over 20 years, revealed that they have sex every day, sometimes multiple times per day.
The next week, we joked and said that we were going to start living like that couple. Of course, that only lasted a few days, and then we laughed about how we enjoyed our less active sex life!
We didn’t feel bad about our relationship because another couple was making love more often than us. Instead, we learned what works for that couple and what works for us as a couple.
Spend time with other happy couples
When you spend your time in the company of other couples who truly like each other, it inspires you and helps keep your own connection strong. The opposite is true if you only surround yourself with friends who are living a single life.
When you spend all of your time with your single friends, you may get trapped into thinking that the grass is greener and that they are having all of the fun.
Making it a priority to spend time with other happy couples will keep the spark alive in your own relationship.
Dating and Relationship Expert | Founder and CEO, Linx Dating
A relationship can start in a whirlwind of excitement and euphoria but suddenly fade without a single spark left behind.
It can be challenging to always feel the spark between you and your partner, especially if you have been together a long time and have yet to place effort into rekindling that spark. It is a cohesive effort from both partners to bring back or maintain that fiery connection you felt and drew you together initially.
Here are my three tips to rekindle that spark with your partner:
- Discuss what drew you together initially
- Prioritize communication
- Do something playful
Talk about what drew you together initially over a romantic dinner date
When wanting to reignite that spark, it’s essential to slow down and bring back focus to romance. Share one and others’ company over a romantic dinner date curated to highlight shared feelings of love and connection you built your relationship on.
Prioritize communication through a shared activity
Getting that spark back in a relationship takes consistent effort; it does not happen “eventually.” It mandates direct communication between partners.
Spend quality time with your partner doing something it does not need to be extravagant or some unwanted task, do an activity together, kayak or go hiking, or do something as simple as a walk around the block. Create an environment to communicate openly by sharing a joint activity.
Do something playful to nurture your inner child
Be carefree and have a relaxed headspace where you’re not thinking so hard. Do something playful or goofy, like a theme or amusement park, trampoline park, paint, or ceramic classes.
Nurture your inner child together! If you want things to be exciting again in your relationship, then get excited about something together.
Christine Altidor, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, No Filter Therapy
We set personal goals, financial goals, and New Year’s resolutions, but many of us neglect to set goals that focus on improving our relationships.
Identify what you’d like to see or experience with your partner (for example, visiting an exotic location, trying a sushi-making class, or implementing new moves in the bedroom). You can be your own relationship goals.
Re-enact your first date
This is a cute reminder to you both of how your relationship started. Make it fun by asking questions you didn’t ask or ending the night in a way that didn’t happen the first time.
This isn’t about reliving the “good old days,” but it’s a unique way to share a special memory with your partner. A nice twist to this could be re-enacting the first date but switching roles. This could be a hilarious or interesting way to see how your partner remembered that date.
Be appreciative of one another
Many couples lose the spark in their relationships because they get comfortable and feel underappreciated for the things they do. You’d be surprised how a simple “Thank you” or “I love when you…” can reinforce those behaviors and feelings.
Practicing gratitude might sound like a cliché, but it works. Take it a step further and think about not just the things your partner does but who your partner is. Are they kind? Patient? Creative? Funny? Tell them.
Lanae St. John, DHS, CSC, ACS
Board-Certified Sexologist | Certified Sex Coach, The MamaSutra
It’s easy for someone with my background to make all of the ideas about sex, but having a healthy foundation is essential because relationships are more than just sex (obviously).
Here are five ideas I came up with:
Make time for each other
You can’t underestimate the power of spending time together. Ten minutes over dinner, 30 minutes playing together with your kids, or just walking down Main Street — let the other person know they are a priority in your life.
Communicate with each other
Talk about your hopes, fears, and fantasies. Keep those lines of communication open, and make sure you’re both comfortable talking about anything with each other.
Touch each other
A hand on the arm, a hug, a snuggle, holding hands, or a kiss can do the trick. Be affectionate with each other in tender ways (and don’t expect things to move to something sexual).
Appreciate each other
Show your partner how much they mean to you by finding little ways to show you care. Remember to say thank you for the things they do for you (and mean it when doing so).
Many relationships get a little lazy and start to take each other for granted, and appreciations fall by the wayside. Noticing when this happens and making a change can be the difference between feeling a spark or not.
Plan something unexpected for your partner, or plan a weekend getaway on a whim. Consider doing something you both enjoy together — watching a movie, playing tennis, or taking a dance class. Or you could try something new in the bedroom — this is where I can help.
I have a course that helps couples assess what they like and talk about it. There might be some things they want to try or go back to something they forgot they liked.
It can be easy to let the spark fade in a relationship, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. But it doesn’t have to be that way! By making time for each other, communicating openly, being affectionate, showing appreciation, and being spontaneous, you can keep the spark alive in your relationship.
Dr. Ketan Parmar
Psychiatrist and Mental Health Expert, ClinicSpots
It’s not always easy to keep the spark alive in a relationship. Life gets in the way, and sometimes it can feel like you’re just going through the motions. But there are things you can do to keep that flame burning. Here are some tips:
Make time for each other
It’s important to carve out time to be together, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Whether it’s talking over coffee in the morning, taking a walk together in the evening, or just sitting down and chatting before bed, make time to connect with each other.
Get creative — try new things together
If you feel like you’re in a rut, mix things up a bit. Try new things together, or do something you’ve always wanted to do. It doesn’t have to be big — it could be as simple as trying a new restaurant or taking a dance class together.
Keep the romance alive
No matter how long you’ve been together, it’s important to keep the romance alive. Plan special date nights, write love notes, or do something thoughtful and unexpected.
The more you communicate, the closer you’ll feel
Open communication is essential in any relationship. If something is bothering you, say so. And if you’re feeling disconnected from your partner, talk about it. The more you communicate, the closer you’ll feel.
Give them your full attention
When you’re with your partner, be present. Turn off your phone, put away your laptop, and give them your full attention. It’s important to connect with each other at the moment.
Show your appreciation
A little appreciation goes a long way. Let your partner know how much you appreciate them — whether it’s for something they did or just for being who they are.
Enjoy each other’s company
Laughter is one of the best ways to keep the spark alive in a relationship. So watch a funny movie, share a silly story, or just enjoy each other’s company.
Be there for each other
No matter what life throws your way, it’s important to be there for each other. Offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just a simple hug.
One of the best ways to keep the spark alive in a relationship is to simply be yourself. So relax, be authentic, and let your partner fall in love with the real you.
Make sure to savor every moment
At the end of the day, remember to have fun together. Enjoy each other’s company, and make sure to savor every moment.
Keeping the spark alive in a relationship takes effort, but it’s so worth it. By following these tips, you can keep that flame burning — no matter what life throws your way.
It’s important to keep the spark alive in a relationship. In the beginning, it’s easy due to all the excitement. You put everything else on the back burner. Your relationship becomes the priority.
As things settle down, you start to catch up on all the life tasks you’ve been neglecting. This change may feel like you start to take each other for granted.
It’s easy to stop feeling appreciated or showing appreciation for your partner. The day-to-day grind keeps you both busy. So things start to feel more routine and less exciting. Breaking this mundane routine is the key to keeping the spark alive.
Here are some ideas:
Make small surprises
Go up behind your partner and give them a hug or kiss unexpectedly. Bring home flowers. Buy a special candle that you start lighting at the dinner table.
Have scheduled date nights
If you are both very busy, it can be easy to settle into a routine of eating at home all the time or even eating separately. That’s when scheduling a certain night or two of the week when you go out for dinner is useful. It also ensures you have time for just the two of you to connect and relax.
Try new things together
This can be fun activities like skydiving or dance lessons. Trying something new together can bring freshness into your relationship.
Date nights with other couples
Sometimes over time, the conversation becomes routine because you feel like you know everything about your partner. Going on a date night with other couples can bring some novelty back into your relationship.
When the other couple talks about fresh topics, you and your partner may respond by telling stories you’ve never told each other before. This will feel similar to when you first started dating.
Book getaways — go somewhere new together
This can be booking a full-fledged vacation or just a night booked at the hotel across town. Anything that gets you out of the daily grind, so you can spend quality time together.
Going somewhere new or different can get you away from repetitive thoughts and wanting to work on your to-do list.
Do relaxation time together
If you schedule a time to relax together, you will associate your partner with relaxing. It is nice when you can take time away from a busy schedule together. This can be anything from time in the hot tub to a walk in the park.
How do you plan all this?
Someone must take the first step
Since you’re the one reading this, you can start. You can suggest a new restaurant and ask what nights work best for them.
Write this on the calendar. Send them an online calendar invite or write it on a sticky note. This gives them a visual reminder and helps them look forward to it.
If your partner is unwilling, it could be another issue
Try more than once, even if your partner says they are too busy at first. If your partner rebukes all your efforts, it could be another issue.
Your partner may not want to be happy. They may not care about your happiness either. Can you see yourself with someone like that forever?
If your positive efforts cause frustration and anger with your partner, this may be your sign to consider leaving. That is an extreme case.
Most healthy individuals want to be happy and for their partner to be happy. With you getting the ball rolling in that direction, your relationship will come back to life.
Author | Associate Professor of Sociology, Missouri State University
While it can be challenging to keep the spark alive in a romantic relationship with all the demands on our time and energy, it’s very important to prioritize maintaining a healthy relationship.
Make the time for it
First, you must make time for the relationship. Schedule date nights. Schedule time to talk to each other, about nothing, about everything, and time to reminisce. Looking back on fond memories together helps remind us of our history together.
Studies found an association between remembering history and increased relationship commitment, a sense of closeness, and satisfaction.
Don’t neglect physical intimacy
Schedule time for physical intimacy. While it may not seem sexy, the anticipation leading up to the event can help heighten the experience. Also, don’t wait for your partner to initiate physical intimacy. Doing so makes your partner feel desired, which is something we all want.
Further, kissing provokes a release of serotonin and oxytocin, so we feel more bonded to our partner, and it relieves anxiety and stress.
Enjoy being with each other
Do activities together. Cook together. Work out together. Try a new hobby or take a class together. Research shows that just having fun together produces positive emotions, which helps unite us and increases our relationship satisfaction.
David Helfand, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist | Owner, LifeWise, PLLC
It is hard work to keep the chemistry alive in a long-term relationship. Most couples find that other demands start to chip away at their connection.
Careers, kids, aging parents, friends, and maybe even personal hobbies interfere with a satisfying and happy relationship with your significant other.
Keeping the spark in your sex life is even more complicated because there are only so many new positions and maneuvers that you can provide each other before it might start to feel like you are just replaying the greatest hits with a little less bravado each time.
Explore your fantasies together
There is some evidence that couples who are more satisfied with their relationship enjoy fantasy with each other. My advice to people looking to spice up the relationship is to share fantasies and act a few out.
It can be anything from role play, such as picking up your partner at a local bar, to dressing up as a real or fictional character. Fantasy is a fun way to explore sexual desires within the safe boundaries of your relationship.
Some couples have told me that fantasy helped save their marriage in more ways than one. It is relatively common for couples to think about threesomes as a way to spice up a marriage. The research is less supportive of this practice, however.
Couples who engage in threesomes often feel overly vulnerable and jealous after bringing someone new into the bedroom. However, you can pretend to be that cute coworker, sexy flight attendant, or naughty professor from college with a willing partner while keeping the security of your marriage intact.
At the very least, I generally recommend that couples start with fantasy before they venture outside their relationship.
Related: How to Have a Happy Marriage
Alexandra Cromer, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor, Thriveworks
Regularity is key to communicating to your partner that you value them
Healthy interpersonal relationships (of any kind) are characterized by a balance of reciprocity and compromise. When these two characteristics are balanced, many people feel fulfilled and their relationships fruitful.
Over time, it’s very normal for “the spark” (excitement, anticipation, spontaneity) to fade. This is not due to the relationship being inherently unhealthy but is a result of a healthy relationship that provides security and comfort, thus making you feel that you don’t need to “try that hard” to please your partner.
However, it is important to maintain spontaneity and excitement, no matter the length of the relationship. Below, let’s talk about a formula that we can use to make sure that the spark is still there!
Let’s start with some questions to ask yourself when considering your partner’s interests:
- What are some of their favorite memories? Could pieces of these be recreated?
- What is their favorite color/food/restaurant?
- What are some things they’ve told me that they enjoy that I do for them?
- Is there any way I can make their day/week easier?
Once we’ve gone through these questions, let’s talk about timing and frequency by asking yourself these questions:
- What are some things I could do daily, weekly, monthly, or annually that my partner would appreciate?
- Is there a time of day that I could do something that would make their life easier?
Once we’ve considered these questions, we can use this formula to help us “plan” some spontaneity in our relationships: An event that is novel within the relationship + Partner’s interests + Reasonable and fits into daily/weekly schedules= Spontaneity.
Remember, something that is “spontaneous” or something that puts the “spark” into a relationship can be big or small and can come in all shapes or sizes!
Making sure that it’s something that your partner will enjoy or that has novelty coupled with regularity is key to communicating to your partner that you value them despite your schedules or any barriers.
Jordyn Mastrodomenico, LCADC, LAC, CTP
Clinical Director, ChoicePoint
Cherish each moment
As humans, we think that grand gestures of love matter, but in reality, it’s the little gestures that show affection towards each other. You can either schedule date nights or be spontaneous together.
You can spend quality time together by organizing candlelight dinners at home, going grocery runs with your partner, making food for each other, and giving each other small gifts as tokens of appreciation.
Engage in non-sexual contact
Sex alone is not enough to keep a relationship going. With time, the relationship can fade if there is little to no emotional and physical intimacy. Create intimacy with each other by Holding hands, kissing, and going on walks or long drives to create a stronger bond.
Keep technology screen time low
Using the phone or watching television excessively around your partner can indicate that you are not interested and you are not paying attention. It could also suggest that you are being disrespectful.
In addition, you can consider the times of day when you and your spouse are frequently interrupted by technology, such as at breakfast or right before bed.
Avoid consuming any modes of technology when your partner is around. Instead, engage in a conversation with them about their day and their plans, pay attention and listen to them. It will make them feel important.
Keep reminding them why you both fell in love
Perfumes are a great way to trigger memories. Make sure to wear your partner’s favorite perfume often. Or wear the perfume that you used on a special night.
Sit and reminisce about the past. Think back to all the great days that you have had together. Do not let old memories fade away.
Licensed Professional Counselor
As a licensed therapist with a heavy concentration in couples counseling, I estimate that the largest percentage of people who come to me with marital issues have allowed the flame of their emotional connection to wither.
For comparison, remember when your relationship was new, and you were sharing all the details of your life together.
You were excited to talk each morning and at the end of every day. You each embraced the new things you discovered about one another, and you probably vocalized encouragement and admiration on a regular basis.
Don’t let comfort and familiarity set in as you both “get warm”
And then, you get comfortable with one another, and many of those things that fed the roaring fire of the developing love die down. As comfort and familiarity set in, the fuel that fans the flame gets scarce.
We don’t have as much new to share, and those little things in one another that was cute to begin with get annoying. We may not share as often. We may not listen as well.
“Fan the flames” with attention and a little bit of hard work
The metaphor of fire is perfect for a relationship because it also goes through a natural cycle of raging flames to a soft burn and then to cooling ash. Like a fire, it grows in relation to how well it is supplied with the fuel that was used when it started.
There are times when conditions are better for ‘burning,’ and there are times when it’s more challenging and may feel impossible. And in both cases, the fire can stay hot and strong with attention and sometimes a little bit of hard work.
Find fuel to “sustain the fire”
There are many ways to build a good, sustainable fire. What works for one condition may not work for another, so it’s necessary to be flexible and experiment with a variety of ‘fuels.’
Keeping the ‘spark’ alive for some couples may be an annual trip without children or an overnight stay at a local hotel every few months.
It could be monthly massages at home or cocktails on the deck after the kids are in bed. It might be housework and a completed to-do list. It could be as simple as offering more encouragement and/or validation to one another.
Think of your relationship as a fire that you must keep burning
To keep the spark alive, you must attend to the fire:
- How often are you connecting on an emotional level?
- How often are you laughing together?
- What are you learning together?
- When is the quality of the time you spend together?
- Are you checking in with one another?
As with an actual open flame, leaving the ‘flame’ of your relationship unattended can have similar results.
Thinking of your relationship as a fire that you must keep burning may help you consider the fuel and attention you’re contributing.
Senior Editor, Tandem
I have been married to my husband for 15 years, and we have been together for over 19. This isn’t just a fluke: Our relationship has weathered the bad and the good. It has taken some work to keep our relationship going and more work to keep the fire burning.
How do you keep the spark alive in a relationship?
Spend some time each week talking to each other
Talking is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page. When it comes to your spark, it is no different.
Spend some time each week talking to each other to ensure you are making each other happy. If you are happy outside the bedroom, you are more likely to be happy inside it.
Go out on dates together
No, you should not date other people.
But do you remember how you would date people before you met your mate? The feelings of giddiness and excitement that you had? These feelings shouldn’t go away just because you are in a committed relationship. Go out on dates together to keep the romance alive.
Make small gestures to show them how much they are appreciated
You don’t just want to appreciate your partner internally. It would help if you also let them know that you appreciate them. Of course, you can and should do this by telling them. But you also can make small gestures to show them how much they are appreciated.
Make an effort to spend more time eating together
Do you have such hectic schedules that you never eat a meal together? Eating together is important so you can spend more time with one another.
It doesn’t have to be every meal, but make an effort to spend more time eating together. Even at home, you don’t have to eat the same things. You probably order different meals when you go to a restaurant, don’t you? So, when you are at home, you can do the same if that works for you.
A public display of affection (PDA) can make them feel special
Surprising your partner with a kiss or another public display of affection (PDA) can make them feel special. Merely holding your mate’s hand could make them feel on top of the world.
Don’t do anything to make other people who are around you uncomfortable, but don’t be afraid to participate in some PDAs.
Don’t think you will reignite the spark overnight if you feel like you have lost it. Finding your spark again can take some time, and it will definitely take some work, but if you want to keep the spark alive, it should be worth it in the end.
Carol Gee, MA
Author, “Telling Stories, Sharing Confidences“
Have something to look forward to together
When people learn that I have been married for over 49 years, they ask me about our secret. So I asked my husband, a really quiet man. He replied, “I never know what you are going to do from minute to the next, and I find that I like it.”
After a number of years together, couples can get too ‘comfortable.’ A romantic and creative, I believe that it’s important to shake things up in a relationship from time to time and go out of my way to find ways to shake up our lives.
Plan trips together
Realizing that our social calendar was up to me, I accepted the responsibility with gusto. I have always planned our trips, be it local or exotic travel to places like Aruba, the Dominican Republic. My husband’s responsibility was organizing vacation leave so we could travel.
Go on a date, be it dinner out or takeout
I also believe in celebrating special occasions. This could be dinner out or something as simple as picking up dinner from, say, Longhorne’s or someplace and enjoying it at home in our pajamas while watching a movie.
I have exposed him to plays and the symphony (tickets courtesy of my boss, who gave them to me to show her appreciation for my hard work.)
We have even celebrated Wednesdays after both of us had crazy Mondays and Tuesdays at our respective jobs. I might make and serve a simple casserole on our good dishes, complete with wine and music, in our dining room. Or make or purchase a lovely dessert for after dinner.
Having something to look forward to, spending quality time together, generating discussion, and strengthening our bond have resulted in a long-time marriage of love and appreciation of each other.
Many long-term couples struggle with how they will keep the spark alive, considering the time they are together. It seems like there is nothing much to learn about each other as they have discovered them already in the past years. The relationship became boring and stagnant, and everything became routine.
However, to bring back the spark alive and keep the relationship on fire, here are the tips you should consider.
Going on a trip enables couples to test their relationship with one another
It might be costly to go on a trip, but it will surely help the relationship grow. It will let allow each individual to discover their genuine character.
People say that couples tend to fight when traveling. Thus, this trip enables couples to test their relationship with one another. They could learn to compromise and understand each other because both are in a foreign place with each other to lean on.
Start your day together
It might be a cliché activity to do in a relationship, but starting your day with your partner makes your day special. It enables couples to appreciate one another more as they can foresee how they want to look forward to every morning with each other.
Having a cup of coffee or eating breakfast together surely makes a relationship alive. Additionally, making your partner breakfast makes it more romantic.
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